I’ve been feeling pretty positive lately and I really do believe it’s because I’ve been making a bit more time than I usually would for myself (and not beating myself up for that!) which is why I’m here to tell you to do the same.
Do more of the things that make you happy.
I’d like to begin this post by making it clear to anyone reading this that I don’t think that I am an expert on happiness nor am I claiming to be some type of therapist. I am not trying to tell you what you need, I am only speaking from personal experiences of my own. I do not have my sh!t together 100% of the time, I just want to share with you all what helps me in the hope that it inspires you to do more of the things that bring you happiness.
As parents, we often put everyone else and their needs above our own and there’s nothing wrong with putting ourselves and our own needs first sometimes. In fact, sometimes it’s completely necessary and not at all selfish. This is something that has took me years since becoming a mum to come to terms with. I used to always give myself such a hard time and treated self care more like a reward instead of a necessity. If I’d had a particular bad day with the kids and shouted more than I’d have liked to, it’s almost like I would punish myself. I’d tell myself I didn’t deserve to relax once the kids had finally gone to bed and I would just feel guilty for the rest of the evening when I probably needed that time to wind down even more than I would have on a better day! It wasn’t a healthy way of thinking and I am glad I have made these changes in my life. No matter whether we have a good day or a bad day, I no longer punish myself for that. Instead, I soak in the good and remind myself that tomorrow is always a new day, the past cannot be changed and that’s where it should be left, in the past. With a new day always comes the opportunity to do/be better.
I know how important self care is because without taking care of myself, how can I possibly take care of my family to the best of my abilities? It’s impossible to give your all when you’ve nothing left to give and I, as an individual matter too.
I know I’m not the only parent who feels guilty when they do something that is just for themselves, who convinces themselves that they shouldn’t be watching that movie or reading that book once the kids have gone to bed because there’s otherwise ‘more important’ stuff they could be doing instead, like washing those pots or hoovering up but what could be more important than taking care of yourself? We are so used to putting everyone else before ourselves that we often forget about ourselves and our own needs. When what we need to be doing sometimes is forgetting about what we ‘should’ be doing and actually making more time for the things we actually want to be doing. Being a parent doesn’t have to mean just taking care of everyone else. It might not come naturally to us because we’re not tuned that way as parents but we need to remember to take care of ourselves as well and that it is not selfish to do so.
Who cares if there’s pots in the sink? They’ll still be there in the morning, but that quiet time when the kids have gone to sleep, well that only comes round once a day in our house! And if you’ve made time for yourself, chances are you’ll feel better for it by the time morning comes round anyway and you’ll feel up to facing those pots.
For the longest time I’ve been telling myself that I simply ‘don’t have the time’ for the things that I want to do but the truth is, there’s always time, we just have to make time for the things that make us happy. So if that’s means sacrificing washing up so that I can read a few more chapters of the book I’m currently reading before I go to bed then so be it. I suddenly find myself having more time for lots more things that I didn’t think I had time for before. I’ve been blogging regularly, crocheting again, spending more time with the kids and R and I think it’s as much to do with my mindset towards it all as it has been to not trying to get through my never ending to-do list every day.
I no longer feel guilty for doing things that are just for myself. Self care is not selfish. If I see something that I want, I don’t talk myself out of treating myself anymore. I treat my kids all the time and I deserve a treat sometimes too! That doesn’t make me a bad mum. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune either. Just the other day I treated myself to this book and this pretty necklace which were both in the sale and it cost me a mere £1.50 for both and I was really pleased with that. I love anything to do with my star sign and/or birthstone, ect.
Don’t get me wrong, I still have moments when I find myself talking myself out of doing things or buying things but I’m also getting better at telling that little voice to shut up now and you should too. This new me has been taking better care of me and I feel fantastic for it. I’m a better mum for doing so as well. I’m genuinely happier, I have more patience and I feel a lot lighter, I’m not carrying nowhere near as much mental weight around with me.
So no matter what you do today, don’t forget to take care of yourself. And absolutely do more of the things that make you happy.